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Old 08-14-2008, 07:23   #51
Broylz
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i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:47   #52
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[QUOTE=Broylz;11065744]i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???[/QUOTE]




\Why would they need any ammo o? They're just going to let their cousins, brothers, uncles, whoever it happens to be that day, walk right on thruogh with a wave and a smile. Then they'll set up a rediculous ambush in the same general area and wait for you column to ome through to resupply, extract, or take over the OP....We couldn't trust our ANA/ANG guys as far as we could throw them (and they were pretty small






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Old 08-23-2008, 14:19   #53
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Extending

Buscuits, it looks like I'm going to be extending for a second year. you'll have to let me know where you wind up for your tour.
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Old 08-23-2008, 15:09   #54
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Good luck. You staying on to do the same kind of mission again?

I'll let you know where I am this coming spring.
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Old 08-24-2008, 00:57   #55
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continuing

with the PMT mission, at least thats my request.
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Old 09-13-2008, 21:42   #56
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Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.
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Old 09-13-2008, 21:57   #57
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might be. that sucks but the rule i was told is not within 90 days of getting there or leaving that only gives you 8 weeks to get everyone home and back.
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Old 09-14-2008, 15:45   #58
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We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.
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Old 09-15-2008, 23:53   #59
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Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.
When we were training up at Bragg, we were told than E7s and above could get no leave while in Afghanistan. This was explained that while in-country, only 10% of the force can be on leave at any given time. They were gonna take care of Snuffie and leave the higher E's and the O's out to dry. In exchange, at the last minute they gave us an extra night with our spouses on the 4 day pass at Ft Bragg....of course, by then some of our spouses ( who had heeded the early advice to plan early for flights in and out of Bragg on the pass weekend ) already had plane tickets and such that couldn't be changed to accomodate the extra day.
Once in country, that guidance changed...EVERYONE would get leave. At this point, I believe anyone who hasn't taken leave has declined to take it voluntarily.
I'm gonna have to get in touch with someone from the next cycle ( I don't know if its your guys show Biscuits or not)...if that 45 day window still exists or not)...I'm extending for a second year, and I'm planning on my next leave being in April, which would put it 8 months since my last leave and 8 months left in the second tour, chopping the two years into thirds, basically.I'm HOPING that for guys doing a second year, the 45 day blackout dates at the beginning of your time on the ground dont apply, because I HAVE to get that leave at THAT time to accomodate plans back in the USA.
I'm hearing that a lot of the guys in the NY 27th are having their extension requests denied because you guys are hitting the ground heavy on personnel. I don't see the wisdom of that..we need as many bodies as we can get, and even if there are enough secfor guys in, say, Kabul, that body can be found a home elsewhere. The problem is that teh leadership in Kabul is having trouble seeing the big picture and thinks the whole country is as peaceful as kabul is. They are refusing to see the mission as anything but a peacekeeping mission, when its a by-God bullets flying combat tour in most of the rest of the nation.
BJ, send me a PM with your AKO email or yahoo screen name so we can talk directly
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Old 09-16-2008, 00:02   #60
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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.
The two months at Bragg were Title 10; the three pre-mob ATs, 7 weeks total for us, were Title 10; our orders are for 400 days to accomodate taking leave at the end of the Mob. Not sure how your state is doing it.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:01   #61
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heading there in a couple weeks. i'll tell ya when i get there.
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Old 09-25-2008, 13:01   #62
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CPT_CRUNCH: Good luck.

TC556guy: It may well be us replacing you - I don't know. But yes, we're "heavy on personnel," very heavy.
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Old 09-25-2008, 16:54   #63
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heading there in a couple weeks. i'll tell ya when i get there.
Hey, can I meet you at the airport and stuff myself inside your duffle bag?? Puhleeeees?!?!?!






drew
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Old 10-04-2008, 16:47   #64
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We learned a lot about our mission...

Our Brigade is going to be a part of Task Force Phoenix, and we'll be scattered across multiple FOBs and firebases, probably. Much of the brigade will be assigned to ETT teams, which will consist of a small unit (squad? section?) attached to Afghan army or police. The ETT team will be responsible for providing training and going out on patrols with the guys they are tasked with.

I'm not sure of the breakdown, whether we'll be 100% ETT teams in our Squadron, or whether we'll only have 50% of our guys in ETT and the rest on tower guard and such, or.... As I understand it, ETT teams are usually top-heavy with rank, though they still need lower-ranking soldiers for driving and gunning. I should be a (combat experienced) junior E-5 by the time we deploy, so I'm not sure how that effects my chances of being on an ETT team versus something else.

So far, they haven't told us anything about which region of the country we'll be going to. Just about every month, our leadership brings in Afghanistan veterans to talk about their tour, and they've all served in different places over there. I don't think our leadership even has a clue which part of the country we're headed to, and the lower ranks probably won't find out until after we've already arrived.

Task Force Pheonix could put us in the south, east, west, or north...
ETTs are assigned to help the ANA (or whatever), not do tower guard duty. There are lots of video of Afghanistan on youtube. Everywhere is hot except North, and there you can have problems. Except for Kandahar, Bagram, everywhere else have a declining level of hospitality. I didn't mind it. Like camping in a primitive campground. If you get a KBR mess hall, feel lucky. One road in the country is "Ring Road" Which almost runs from Herat to Kandahar to Kabul up north to the old Soviet Union along the Salang Highway. You don't need to buy pogey bait, you can get than somewhere. I didn't need five pair of boots and five uniforms, maybe 3 boots and 4 uniforms. Polypro is a must. I had a hotpot and a 110V converter for my hot water which I used for most everything. Take a camera. Like Iraq, dusty everywhere.
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Old 10-04-2008, 16:52   #65
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When we were training up at Bragg, we were told than E7s and above could get no leave while in Afghanistan. This was explained that while in-country, only 10% of the force can be on leave at any given time. They were gonna take care of Snuffie and leave the higher E's and the O's out to dry. In exchange, at the last minute they gave us an extra night with our spouses on the 4 day pass at Ft Bragg....of course, by then some of our spouses ( who had heeded the early advice to plan early for flights in and out of Bragg on the pass weekend ) already had plane tickets and such that couldn't be changed to accomodate the extra day.
Once in country, that guidance changed...EVERYONE would get leave. At this point, I believe anyone who hasn't taken leave has declined to take it voluntarily.
I'm gonna have to get in touch with someone from the next cycle ( I don't know if its your guys show Biscuits or not)...if that 45 day window still exists or not)...I'm extending for a second year, and I'm planning on my next leave being in April, which would put it 8 months since my last leave and 8 months left in the second tour, chopping the two years into thirds, basically.I'm HOPING that for guys doing a second year, the 45 day blackout dates at the beginning of your time on the ground dont apply, because I HAVE to get that leave at THAT time to accomodate plans back in the USA.
I'm hearing that a lot of the guys in the NY 27th are having their extension requests denied because you guys are hitting the ground heavy on personnel. I don't see the wisdom of that..we need as many bodies as we can get, and even if there are enough secfor guys in, say, Kabul, that body can be found a home elsewhere. The problem is that teh leadership in Kabul is having trouble seeing the big picture and thinks the whole country is as peaceful as kabul is. They are refusing to see the mission as anything but a peacekeeping mission, when its a by-God bullets flying combat tour in most of the rest of the nation.
BJ, send me a PM with your AKO email or yahoo screen name so we can talk directly
If you are on 400 day orders, everyone must arrive back in 365 (incl mob&demob) so they can take the maximum terminal leave (around 30 days) and that leaves you 400 days. Makes it simple for the big unit database in the sky.

More people = more support. Although they may need more people, everywhere may not be able to accomodate for whatever reason (water, KBR spt, food, living space)

People who linger cause problems for people at higher levels to track and see who's where, and when they go home. And mob records and a myriad of other issues.
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Old 10-04-2008, 16:55   #66
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Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.
If your mob time is quick, you'll have more time. But the 400 day rule was made to make sure part timers do not get excessive (5-6 mos. at mob site alone and then one year in theater) time away from home.

Mobs are getting shorter since people are mobing again, needless stuff is being cut, and part timers need to get in theater quicker.

A part timers clock start on mob day. An active duty clock start then boots hit ground in theater. These are very important days which are tracked closely by echelons above reality.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:32   #67
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More people = more support. Although they may need more people, everywhere may not be able to accomodate for whatever reason (water, KBR spt, food, living space)

People who linger cause problems for people at higher levels to track and see who's where, and when they go home. And mob records and a myriad of other issues.
The problem with your post is that there are vacancies for positions that are already there and unfilled. PMT teams assigned, say, 20 people, but only manned with 15. If you had 5 guys holding over from the previous tour, you could fill those 5 vacancies. But instead, the extensions are denied. Or an ETT team out in the middle of nowhere..hmm, they already have a FOB; how much additional support will those guys need if they get 5 extra guys that they really should have?

Since making my initial post on that issue, I've been told that the number of denials is actually pretty small.

As for tracking people on leave.....maybe the S1 shop needs an extra person or two if they can't handle the job. Manpower in Afghanistan is a growing trend, not a speculative thing. It is going to happen, and the units on the ground as well as the companies providing support had better figure out how to handle it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:36   #68
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Units can be 80% filled, so 16 our of 20 people is "filled". This is tracked at higher levels and having people extend for less than the full amount adds a tracking problem. The more individuals with unique circumstances adds more of a tracking problem. I don't know the particulars of what is going on and I am guessing with limited information.

URF mgmt is a nettlesome issue for people in theatre to make sure people and units are properly assigned and staffed. People have to know where you are and for how long. If somebody stayed over a month and someone forgot him, he'd be writing his congressman. It's hard for your unit to track you from back home because unless someone is talking with them, they have no clue on what you're doing. And most units have fillers which complicate the issue.

The Army is not a civilian employer to where they have a system (I don't know if the new DIMHRS does this) to track individuals and their status. Besides, it's hard telling where they are at a particular moment with all the movements going on.

As far as 400 days, not everyone takes leave (they may go on pass if they're lucky - I never did but the people in Phoenix did 3-4 times) and everyone must be back to demob at the same time - or sign on for a full tour to make it easier for tracking.

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:06   #69
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*They* might consider 16 out of 20 slots to be 'filled", but when you need a certain amount of manpower/ vehicles in order to move your guys outside the wire, and you have less than your assigned full strength because of people on leave, out sick, RIPing out, or position vacancies, that affects your Teams ability to perform the mission. *I* don't consider a team "filled" until EVERY assigned slot has a warm body in it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 15:27   #70
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*They* might consider 16 out of 20 slots to be 'filled", but when you need a certain amount of manpower/ vehicles in order to move your guys outside the wire, and you have less than your assigned full strength because of people on leave, out sick, RIPing out, or position vacancies, that affects your Teams ability to perform the mission. *I* don't consider a team "filled" until EVERY assigned slot has a warm body in it.
Yeah, I know, but it is becoming difficult to fill requirements by rank and skill nowadays. Most people >E4 have mobilized recently and if it were not for people extending or volunteering, it would be worse.

AD had a 12 mos. dwell time now and now they get admin leave and if they waive their dwell time, they get a pass, at least where I'm at.

We go to war with the Army we have. I'm not being facetious, but it's never perfect, there are always issues.
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Old 10-05-2008, 19:11   #71
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Which is why its important to allow people to extend in theatre, which was my original point, but then you came back with "it would be too hard to support everyone who wanted to extend", etc.
Look, we have all sorts of MOS's in the PMT missions. Yeah, its important that they be either MP, 11B, be a cop in the civilian world, etc, but its not critical. They need the bodies, the Teams they have aren't filled to capacity and they are standing up additional ETTS/ PMTs. The bodies are needed.
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